Friday, February 28, 2020

Tree Removal on our Street - Poem: The Corpulant Redwood Comes Down

 Liberty Tree Service. Spoke to Jorge, who got out of the truck. He said they were taking a Redwood down - related to the California redwoods - its roots, he said, were spreading down the street.

Jorge is from PR. I said I'd visited there many years ago. Went with Louisa Yurdin from Goddard I think.

I tasted my first mango there, I said. He talked about all the wonderful fruits including huge pineapples.

Also visited El Junque, I said. He'd never been there. He said people get lost in the forest.

Wish I could get a picture of Jorge. Ah, they were about to drive away.

Have a great day, Jorge!
 See the tree in front of Mike K's.

I take pics and then I wave in thanks at folks.

Scott and I had just come home from THE WILLOW INN. Great food. Marina was our waitress.
We each had fresh salmon with a delicious sauce on top, broccoli sauteed in garlic and olive oil, tasty rice, which surprised Scott, and I had hot coffee and rice pudding sans whipped cream.

HARRIET TUBMAN was a great film. I arrived early and sat in front as I know these mentally challenged people sit in the back and are very noisy. In fact one of them screamed toward the end of the film.

A woman behind me kept coffing.

I got up and moved. Not only did I not wanna catch her coff, but she was interrupting the film. I wore my driving glasses during the film so I could read the dialog, which is very helpful.

Gotta look up TUBMAN on the Internet. Again, excellent, but quite long.

Lead role played by Cynthia Erivo. Great acting but she was no beauty in the film. Here she is, 33 yo, of Nigerian origin. Long history of performing.

Cynthia Erivo


On daily walks I would glance over at Mike's house
and admire their colossal tree. In the California Redwoods
your car could pass inside.

Trees! Oh, colossal trees, made for our need for shade, for beauty
and sitting neath the tree drinking cold lemonade in the summer
and imagining what this area looked like thousands of years ago
when we lived in hogans with smoke pouring from chimneys

The venison was lean and tasty, we smoked our peace pipes
and thought we had nothing to fear.

Nothing to fear.

How wrong we were.

Fight for what's right! Poem: Harriet Tubman

I was so excited to have an introductory membership to Barnes and Noble. All you need do is give them your phone number. Scott likes to buy books, so he bought half a dozen at their Willow Grove store.

I went into the Willow Grove B&N and bought black coffee and that Harney & Sons Tea which is weak as water.

On my credit card bill I saw that B&N had automatically renewed my membership for $7.99.

Was on the phone a good 90 minutes getting the dispute resolved.

And, yes, I was shouting, AGENT, I wanna speak to an agent.

Now these humongous trucks are going to the Bill Adams house to fix the devastation from the hurricane or whatever the heck it was.

And also the house next door, where branches fell from the tree.

Is there a better word to use than "humongous?"

Hold on while I czech.

Colossal. Gigantic.

Gonna see the film HARRIET TUBMAN at the Hunt Valley Library for free.

Ate oatmeal with peanut butter and blubberies from the freezer. Super delicious.

Why am I so thirsty?

Drank down my favorite drink - water - cold water - in my Harry and Meghan cup.


I always loved the black people
Dad hired them at Majestic, where he worked
They were different than us, sure, and
they fascinated little me.

Beryl Pinckney, Paige Sumpter, Jr., and
Norman Jordan, the late writer and poet
I wrote for a while on Facebook, and
Sam Jones when Dad was transferred to
New York.

Godspeed to these lovely lads and lasses
and may the God of all things, bless you
wher'ere you are.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Helene Helene - Here I Come!

 I asked Joam, a Muslim originally from Palestine, if I could photograph him. He was most agreeable. He lives in the Northeast and is retired as an electrical engineer. Got his degree in El Paso. He's been all over the world traveling. Has a wife and kids.

Took less than an hour to get to her assisted living place.
 I asked him to carry my many bundles onto the first floor of Manatawny Manor.

The next Uber guy, Edwin, didn't like to talk. He found my house w/o any trouble from his GPS but said, You don't learn anything when you do it this way. When I got in his car he asked me if I spoke Spanish.

What? He saw my Flamenco tap shoes?

He drove a Taurus.
 Helene, stuck in a corner of her room, in her wheelchair. She's 91 and her mind is good. But she rarely speaks to anyone face to face as we did. When I asked her if she missed Aaron, her husband, she said Rarely.

He worked for a defense contractor, was afraid when he left for work in the morning, as he didn't know where he'd be assigned for the day. Possible war zones!

Brought one of her many b'ful plates she gave me before leaving her home at 1565 Bauman Drive. She remembered it and all the different sizes it came in.
 She did not like the Subway hoagie I brought her so  - what was I to do? - but gobble it up! Yum. And then inject in my big soft belly.

Every day she is given water. I was really thirsty so put a straw in her bottle and drank a lot. She examined my earrings and said they were cloisonne.
 Everything she wants to do, she must ask for help as she can't budge from her chair.
Oh dear. Just lost some of my writing.

Called sister Lynn who has an uber app and asked her to send anudder guy. Took an hour. But I saw a lounge with folks sitting inside. 

Might Helene go?

Helene's nurse wheeled her in and she immediately took to these folks and asked their names. Joe Barnshaw from Collegeville is a volunteer.

There was a Phyllis and another Ph word and Helene was lovin it all.

Now she doesn't have to be alone any more. She told me the next time I come to bring a hoagie from Wawa.

She also said she wants to start taking photos again! She wants a camera just like mine! A pink Nikon. 

Nikon COOLPIX S3700 Digital Camera (Pink) 26476 B&H Photo ...

A miracle she's come alive again. 

Here's a poem I brought her which she liked.


Queen Helene
I've been preparing
for this trip ever since
we sat around the table
in Jenkintown licking
envelopes and chatting
in a desultory fashion.

You had your Hesselblad
What a name!
What pictures you made
In that dark room at
1565 Bauman Drive

19002 the unforgettable
zip code.

Thousands of people you met
Peanut Butter, Sam Maitin, Stephen Perloff
Naomi Mindlin, Robinson Fredenthal
with early Parkinson's, and Burt
Wasserman, plump and tasty as a
plucked chicken

I absconded with many of your dishes
your varied strainers for spaghetti
and tasty thick zoups

A Day for Ourselves
February, the longest month,
with an extra day at the end
to stare at the moon
and howl!


Her friend Peanut Butter - Robert Woodward - is doing very well.

Click here.

Monday, February 24, 2020

A "Murder" of Crows - Poem about Blackbirds

It's actually very exciting having noisy chattering flapping crows flying all about you. But try and take a picture and they fly away as if they're in the Witness Protection Program.

CORRECTION: Crows they are not. BLACKBIRDS are what they are. Scott did an online investigation. There are about 13 different species.

I am trying to figure out how to visit my friend Helene Ryesky at her retirement home. Would like to take an Uber and my sister Lynn has an Uber app.

Wanna find out the cost. 

Sam Valenza and his Buxmont Transport would charge up to $200 but they don't work past 7 pm.

Was at Mom's this morning while Ellen went to the new  Y  in Willow Grove. 

We chatted about how she and Daddy designed their new house in Justa Farm.

They sort of copied Cel's house next door. Her husband Charlie who worked for GE was transferred out of town. We never saw them again, I don't think, tho Mom talked to Cel on the phone. Dead from cancer, Cel. We never know what's gonna kill us or when. 


Wherever you're going
in search of warmer climes
and succulent insects, grubs
and worms, what a thrill
you visited our lawns,
branches, and grassy slopes
to come together
man and bird
in our eternal search
for the great outdoors
o daring creatures of evolution

Neighbor Patrick's bees are drinking the muddy water here. Pat said this water is very nourishing for his honeybees and said to note that they don't drink from the regular bird bath. Double click to enlarge.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Poems for my Readers

Watched a touching film - dab dab with my handkerchief - at the Huntingdon Valley Library called BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. Before it started, my friend Ilona saw me and came over.

Is this the first time you've come to the movies?

No, I said.

For Ilona, I'm gonna write a poem about movies.

BTW, I continued to watch films by Ulrika Ottinger at Scott's just now. Got it from the library. Ulrika has a most unusual sensitivity.

Ulrika. View her here.

Mom just called. She and companion Margie hit it off well. Told Mom I LOVE YOU before I hung up. She's hoping to feel better tomorrow.

Why should you, I asked.

Because I'm wishing it, she said.

When I got home from the HV Library, I wrote the librarian and asked her to please consider adding the novel GRAVITY by Sarah Deming to their collection.

View it here. Sarah is the white chick.

Sarah Deming


A late lunch would be good, thinks I,
but where shall I go? Certainly not McDonalds
with their rubbery burgers and sticky fries, nor same-old
Willow Grove Giant, where floods of people pass by.

It's off to Dunkin, driving over in the
sunshine. Did you know that Billy Haney just
announced on Star Date that star systems which
touch one another may burst to a brilliant flash
the brightest thing in the heavens above.

Don't count on it though. Not like I count on
my gift card from Dunkin, scuse me while I sip
on that Ice-Cold Coffee, yes, it came with a straw
and is puddling my TV tray right now

The croissaint with eggs sausage and cheese
was nothing short of superb. Who is as lucky
as I? And read my library book NEVER CAUGHT:
The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of their
Runaway Slave, Ona Judge.

With 60 cents left on the gift card
I asked the boss man What should I do?
"I'll give you a donut and we'll call
it even."

"Can't but thanks. I have diabetes."
The "D" word was foreign to him, but
hardly to me.

Out came my life-saving insulin pen
wondering when I look up at the stars tonight
if I'll see Einstein and Kepler and Galileo
sailing like Winkin Blinkin and Nod
as I finish the last remnants of Iced Coffee
thanks to the great Teresa Forstater!



Film noir, of course, comes on 
Turner Classic Films every
Saturday Morning. Scott and I
burrow under the covers and
take turns falling asleep and
waking up.

In my movie-rich childhood
Mom took me to see Bambi.
When the forest fire arrived
I asserted myself and ran to
the top of the stairs.

La Belle et La Bete at Goddard College

also Hallelujah The Hills.

Here in the quotidian Philadelphia suburbs we have our Mauriccio Giammarco showing films on Sundays and then conducting commentaries.

The Professor at Rosemont College knows all our names and if we don't quite get it, he leads us on gently as if wearing DeerFoam Slippers.

A perennial favorite which Scott and I thrill to, together, are the gorilla films.


Mighty Joe Young. Was Terry Moore in that?

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Busy Day plus Judy Loved My Birthday Poem - My poem A COLD MORNING

Captions from above photos.

Took most of my groceries home in this carton from Vietnam.

Flower pot from the late Judy Diaz. I don't want it to crack. Should I put it on the back porch?

Drove to CVS listening to opera on WRTI-FM and picked up my Novolog pens. These I can't run out of.

Image result for novolog flexpen

Cancelled my appt with Cecilia, who I like a lot, but received a phone call that I have an appt with her tomorrow.

Tomorrow? I did not know about this.

Plus I don't like driving all the way to the new place. The traffic goes too fast.

Found someone else on the Internet, a Dr Geeta Vaze. Am waiting for a call.

Vat else?

Of course. Richie from Verizon. Hold on, I've gotta eat something I'm so nervous about writing about him.

Bought a new kinda cheese at Giant. Boars Head White Cheddar.


Hold on while I get anudder piece.

So Richie is calling from Providence R I.

Oh, the home of RISDE, I say, Rhode Island School of Design.

I tell him that right here on my table is a clay coffee cup made by a student. I keep push pins, staples, and rubber bands inside.

When Sarah was at Brown, we must've walked over there and I loaded up on lovely items.

Richie and I spent nearly two hours on the phone while he fixed the New Directions line so people can say, Hi I'm Ruth Deming and I'm interested in joining your support group. Please call me at...

One phone greeter, H, already told me she understood the instrux for answering the phone.

Did I tell you I wrote a short story called IVAN for my Weds writing group at Warminster Library. Gonna read it to Judy when I finish bloggin.

First, a poem:


Stood out on the porch step
and sent my breath - hah! hah! hah! -
toward the brilliant cold sun.

Do I really live here?
The house is so big
emptied out as the children
left home.

The evening before
I said I'm gonna relax
with a cup of coffee
read some books
and get on with my day.

Drank the coffee in the car
on the way to my first errand
of the day.

A box of...
Mah Jong Tiles?
or Novolog pens.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Reading in bed as the Mailman gets closer and closer

At last I had a chance to do my morning reading.

Wanted to focus on the book for our reading group bc before you know it the third Thursday in March will be here.

It's fairly well written as it describes George Washington's trek to Philadelphia with his wife Martha and their gaggle of slaves.

One Judge, our heroine, is 16 and has a taste of freedom.

Scuse me, I have to yell at Kalie across the street.

BE QUIET!!!!!!!!

All sorts of laws about the enslaved. Even if you were free, bounty hunters could find you and transport you back to the plantation.

The cruelty was unbelievable.

Black folks were not considered human beings.

At the Giant today where I spent $68 - I bought a new sauce pan - and mentioned to a guy named Brian, Must I always walk fast - he didn't get it - but there I was taking my time and studying everything.

When I got in the checkout line, there was a black and white photo of ANNE FRANK on the cover of a magazine. It was shocking and in terrible terrible taste.

She was beaming as if the Holocaust did not exist.

Hoped the mail hadn't come when I got home as I wanted to write Judy a clever b'day card which I did. I put her on the show What's My Line.

Dante had come as I was struggling to open up my email account - damn damn - finally did, printed out the poem and put it in a BIRTHDAY WISH card from Scott and Dante was still at his truck.


Remember the sedate John Daly?
And panelists Bennett Cerf, Dorothy
Kilgallen, and Arlene Francis?

Four women were the supposed
Guest Writer and Poet. The Poet Laureate
of Suburban Philadelphia. The would-be
poets stood up and down a few times
before the real one stood straight

Her chestnut brown hair turned under and
clasping her latest manuscript
in her hand.

Why, it's our great friend
Judy Meryl Lipshutz.

They're bringing in a birthday cake
for her, chocolate with candles
flaming toward the sun.

The whole studio is going wild
thunderous applause as Judy
bows her head.

There was nuffin like reading in bed in the morning.



My thick lavender curtains
are drawn letting in neither
light nor sound

My entire being, clothed in
warm garments that hugged
my body like a woolen stocking
in Heidi, concentrated on
word after word.

The totality formed a story
understandable, and, if not,
simply repeat.

Repeat repeat and repeat.

Jolted and jumping
I listened to the
noisy phone ring.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Dipping into the Memory Jar - and Jill Alexander


White curtains with
tiny designs protect
the small window
where my neighbor
Eileen once lived.

I visited her nearly
every day since her son
Bill brought her up from
Florida where her husband
also named Bill died of
can't catch my breath
emphysema, and dragged
behind him, like a small
dog, his breathing machine,

She was sorry to leave
sweet-smelling Florida
of oranges and tangelos
and shrimp from the Bay.

I was so happy to meet her
a new friend, with soft gray
hair, blue eyes and a
nice way about her.
I never wanted to leave.

Her son Bill and daughter-in-law
Stacey wouldn't let her drive. She
accepted it. After all "They let
me into their home and gave me
every thing I wanted."

Including the dog Daisy
who with wagging tail
slept on the floor near
her bed in the room with
the lovely curtains.

She remembers nothing any more.
She lives in Brookside Manor
where a creek meanders by.
She's forgotten we used to go to
free movies at the library.
Lunch at Bonnett Lane, where she
usually ordered the same thing I did
and also matzoh ball soup
at the Red Robin Diner.

She looked the same when her companion
Jill and I visited her at Brookside.
Everything was the same, the lovely
gentle face and blue eyes, but the words
she spoke, every single word was just
plain nonsense.


Was at Mom's today since Ellen was going to the YMCA gym. Detours were on the road so Scott and Ellen told me how to get there.

Exhausted, I clumb into bed with Mom, making sure her shoes were tied tight, tho my shoes were off, and we reminisced, oh my did we ever.

Mawby's hamburgers with grilled onions, sitting on red stools that twirled, Our dentist, Dr Benjamin B Bell on Lee Road. We rinsed out our mouths with Lavoris.

Mrs, Alice van Duesen at Mercer Elementary School, a pioneer of education. My fifth grade teacher Mrs. Evelyn Hess, who moved to Scarsdale NY.

The rapid transit, yellow, where Gramma Green would climb up and down the steps.


Mom has a new companion. Let's use that word instead of caregiver.

Jill Alexander.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Marcus Aurelius - these warrior kings die young - 58

Rem and I were sharing some notes, kidding around and I said, YOU and Marcus Aurelius.

Read about him here on Wiki. He died at age 58.

Marcus Annius Verus
26 April 121
Died17 March 180 (aged 58)
Vindobona or Sirmium
SpouseFaustina the Younger (m. 145)
14, incl. CommodusAnnius, Antoninus and Lucilla

I had no idea who the man was but I did know he was a scholar and a philosopher.

I wrote this poem about him, which I sent off with an email alert about our meeting on Tuesday night.


Since humankind sailed down
from the trees, the pink-bottomed baboons,
the huge gorilla, the tail-less Barbary Macaque,
and tiny Rhesus monkeys
we have an innate need to improve ourselves.

This is why we read the Meditations of
Marcus Aurelias. He lived in a time of
constant warfare and a hatred of Christians.

The historian Herodian wrote, "He gave proof of his learning
not by mere words or knowledge but by his blameless life."

On the battle field his men were burning with thirst.

One Justin Martyr wrote, "Aurelius believed Christian prayer
had saved his army from thirst
when "water poured from heaven," after which,
"immediately we recognized the presence of God."

Aurelius goes on to request the senate desist
from earlier courses of Christian persecution by Rome.

Find your dog-eared college copy of Marcus Aurelius
Meditations and Quotes.

Carry it through the many battles and struggles
of your lives.

Better than that, you cannot do.


May I Go Upstairs and Read Now?

I'll write my poem up here since there ain't no way it's gonna fit below Little Marty Stuart and his geetar. The dude's garnered numerous awards.

Last night on TCM was the film GASLIGHT, with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. Directed by George Cukor, known for directing beautiful women.

Boyer is trying to drive Bergman insane. His come uppance is at the end.


The whoosh of the furnace
sounds like a slow freight train
cutting through my house

Miraculously it does no harm

When I looked outside
a red robin was digging
for food

If I were a robin
I'd love those succulent
worms too

Barks now.
The dogs are awake.
Circling the block.

Kalie, shut your goddam


Just prepared my breakfast. Vanilla full fat yogurt with frozen blueberries, in nice, slightly dirty bowl of Helene's. Into the oven they go.

Dirty? Yes, you must use soap when you wash dishes.


What an awful dream I had.

Help help! Birds were trying to come into the window. No one would listen to me.

Such good books I'm reading.

Rachel Maddow's BLOW OUT.

Daniel Leviton's HEALTHY AGING, which is also on Helen K's reading list.

I zoomed downstairs this morning to unlock the front door in case Scott wanted to come in.

Last night I watched the continuation of Ken Burns' Country Music.

Marty Stuart, who I'd never heard of, was one of the stars. Many played the mandolin, was it? He was a young tyke when he began to play.

Was I ever happier? Snuggled up in my jammies. When hungry I went downstairs and brought up two thin slices of Havarti Cheese.

Havarti looks like matzoh in soft form.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Writer's Group at My House

Scott bought me mini-roses from Kremp Florist. He said loads of men were there.

I looked up how to care for them on the Internet. Do not let soil dry out.

Rem presented one of his hilarious pun-filled Randy Package stories.

Linda wrote two fantastic poems about Christ the Healer. She is a believer.

Her mom Jane said it was nice to meet me again.

I mentioned that the woman next door, Eileen, was now at Brookside in Roslyn and I had visited her there once.

Rem said his mother was there and he thought it was a great place.

I served everyone coffee, lousy coffee, I must admit. Twould have taken too long to brew some.

They gave me excellent feedback on MY NEW WRIST WATCH, and I submitted it to BoomerLit.

Also read it to Judy over the phone. She turned 70 and was ailing from a virus.

Not THAT virus.

At 5 pm, Scott will have his cauliflower crust ready for the two of us.

Oh you should see the great books I got out of the Upper Moreland Library, including....

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Found Warminster Library for Creative Writing Group!

Our teacher, Eva Berlin, 88, is excellent! She read from one of her many books and she is a talented writer.

There were about a dozen or more people there and they were all very good writers!

At the previous semester's meeting, some folks like "Pluto" were not very good.

Makes quite a difference learning from these good writers, like Joyce Pfeiffer.

They enjoyed my story, Yes, She's My Mother, which I wrote in about 90 minutes after eating my Oatmeal with Blueberries, Peanut Butter and Pecans. Wanted to fill up before I left.

I left early, pulling my driving direx out of the pocket on the driver's side.

Began getting nervous about finding Norristown Road. I pulled over too soon, but got in the regular lane.

I think Roberts Road should be my guide.

There it was on the way left - Norristown Road - and I made my crucial left turn, found Emma Lane, and backed into the parking lot.

Arrived plenty early.

Went into the Community Room, pulled a book off the shelf and began to read.

Then I closed my eyes and slept about 15 minutes.

Took me two hours to realize the clock - which read 9:45 - had stopped.

In the book, I learned what happens to SOLITARY ANTS and wrote down the name of the expert about this.

Good story idea.

On the way home I stopped at TNT - Tim and Terri's - and ordered a nice dinner sans dessert.

 Leftover photos of very noisy cawing crows. This is Scott's house next door.

 Here's Eva Berliner who did a good job critiquing everyone. The white-haired woman is Sharon and next to her is Trina, I thinka.
 Suzanne wants to organize her thoughts and tell a nonfiction story. Rosemarie writes haiku and wants to write a poetry book, illustrated by her talented grandson Cameron, which is not short for John Cameron Swayzee.

Melissa is an accomplished writer.

Joyce Pfeiffer really knows how to write!

Home sweet home.

Scott hung up these old glass plates of a woman sweeping and ironing.

He was surprised when I told him I used to love ironing in my younger years.

Stopped off to eat at TNT, where I had stale coffee, French fries with awful ketchup, a delicious Turkey Ruben Sandwich taking half of it home, and since I should be awake this evening, I'll fix up Yes, That's My Mother.

It is not about my real mother, still alive and living at home at 97.

Bernice Greenwold

Shall I watch the nightly news on PBS?